CANCELED FIREWORKS: DO YOU CARE?

Crowds would pack West Front Street opposite Riverside Gardens Park every July 3 for a view of the annual pyrotechnics display. (Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

Tonight would have been the night.

The annual Red Bank fireworks show, a half-century-old tradition branded as Kaboom for most of the past decade, would have been lofted into the sky above the Navesink River tonight, as always on July 3.

But the event was canceled in February amid fundraising difficulties and security concerns.

redbankgreen took to the streets in recent days to see how locals feel about the change. A sampling of opinion is below.

What do you think about the fizzling of Kaboom? Let us know in a comment.


Jay Anderson (Photo by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

JAY ANDERSON
Red Bank
“My immediate reaction is that it sounds like a bummer. We have an office here, so it would’ve been convenient. [My daughter’s] that age where it would probably the first year we’d take her to see the fireworks.”

Clockwise from top left, Samuel Santos, Muhammed Ors, Vince Sapienza and Chris Maddalena. (Photo by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge.)

SAMUEL SANTOS
Middletown college student
“I’m honestly devastated. Me and my friends would gather around in Red Bank every year and have a good time watching the fireworks. I guess we always have our memories.”

VINCE SAPIENZA
Red Bank, senior at RBR
“I’m half-and-half, because we had to wade through the huge crowds every year.”

CHRIS MADDALENA
Red Bank, senior at RBR
“I actually liked the crowds. It was all part of the energy.”

MUHAMMED ORS
Red Bank, senior at Academy of Allied Health and Science
“It’s disappointing that this Red Bank tradition is going to leave all of a sudden. I guess it [Kaboom] was good for business, too.”

Sarah Cartwright (Photo by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

SARAH CARTWRIGHT
Middletown, senior at Middletown South and counter worker at Ricky’s Candy

“July 3 was our busiest day. It’s a big bummer because it was our biggest money-maker of the summer, probably of the whole entire year.”

Ming Chen (Photo by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

MING CHEN
Tech guy/graphic designer at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash

[Will the absence of Kaboom hurt business?] “Absolutely not. People would come in, walk around and then not buy anything – mostly drunk idiots. It just seemed to be a big annoyance. It really seemed to more a headache than it was worth. The ratio was like 2,000 people to one police officer, so if anything happened, the place would be like it was overrun by zombies.”

Kim Forgione (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

KIM FORGIONE
Red Bank, works at Riverview
“The bars are really bad, with all the fighting, the drinking and driving. But at the same time, it does bring revenue.”

redbankgreen summer intern Connor Soltas of Rumson is entering his senior year at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.